A significant part of Saanich is rural in nature, including Elk and Beaver Lake Regional Park and the Prospect Lake area. The landscape of Saanich is unique for its ecological diversity and leisure potential. There are 170 municipal parks, three regional parks, a cycling network route to see and explore and the Saanich Commonwealth Place – a world-class pool and fitness centre. Saanich has more parks per capita than any other municipality in B.C. There are several excellent golf courses in Saanich: Blenkinsop Valley, Cedar Hill, Cordova Bay and Prospect Lake golf courses.
Saanich's distinct neighbourhoods include: Gordon Head, a solidly upper middle class family area with several shopping malls, restaurants and movie theatres within a short driving distance; High Quadra, which overlooks the Blenkinsop Valley; Broadmead, with its imaginative West Coast architecture; and Cordova Bay, which is perched along the seaside and includes a mixture of cottages, small farms, sizable family homes and new subdivisions.